The Prospect Heights Shul is a Modern Orthodox Shul in Brownstone Brooklyn


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The Prospect Heights Shul
A Modern Orthodox Shul in Brownstone Brooklyn

Chag sameach! As Yom Kippur recedes in our rear-view mirror, our eyes look forward to the end of Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret (schedule below) and Simchat Torah. In particular, Simchat Torah is a special time for this community, and while it won’t be like any other year, our goal is to do something that is meaningful on its own terms while remaining safe. We are very conscious of the increasing COVID rates in many parts of Brooklyn and aim to be maximally safe.

As a reminder, please sign up for all davening events you plan to attend!

First, a couple of key things about the run-up to Simchat Torah:

  • We will be having davening on Hoshanah Rabbah morning at 730am! Come join us to thrash some willows on the lot. 

  • We’re seeking readers for Kohelet! Please contact Rabbi Leener if you are interested in reading.

  • On Shmini Atzeret, we will be having in-person Yizkor at the end of davening. 

  • We are having a BYO Shmini Atzeret communal picnic on the prospect park lawn! In place of an ice cream kiddush, we’ll be bringing a mix of milchig and pareve ice cream desserts for the whole community. Please join us! 1230pm by the Prospect Park shabbat tree.

As to Simchat Torah itself, here’s how things will work:

  • Times & Locations. Davening on Saturday evening will start with mincha at 6pm followed by brief hakafot (15 minutes). Davening on Sunday will begin at 930am with aliyot beginning by 1030am. All davening will take place on the lot at 979 Pacific Street.

  • Hakafot. Hakafot will be brief (15-20 minutes in total), with no large-scale dancing, as we can’t find a safe way to do so. Individuals will be able to do mini-hakafot with the torah and we will be singing at 12-foot distances.

  • Aliyot. We plan to be offering aliyot for the entire community, both men and women. Aliyot will be distanced in our Sukkah to avoid any potential issues. Please register in advance for aliyot so we may capacity plan.

  • Kids. Unfortunately given the usual chaos of Simchat Torah we will not allow young children (under 9) on the lot. We will be organizing take-home candy bags for kids to be distributed at both the shmini atzeret picnic and davening. 

  • Food/Drink. We’ve procured small airplane-size liquor bottles for drinking on the PHS lot. There will be a 2-drink maximum. There will be light refreshments as well, all at a socially-distanced length.

  • Security. There will be security provided on the morning of simchat torah.

FINALLY: We will be monitoring the situation closely this week and will share updates if anything changes.

As always, we thank you for your patience and support in helping us put on davening in these challenging times, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.


David Hammer, Michael Chasan, Rabbi Leener, and the PHS Board

Sukkot at PHS
We are excited to open our Sukkah to the community for use during Chol HaMoed at PHS. Please see below for more information about in-person activities at 505 Grand/979 Pacific. 
Mo'adim L'Simcha to all!

Davening Times: Please sign up here
Oct 9: Hosanna Rabah Shacharit 7:30 AM
Oct 9: Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv 6:15 PM
Oct 10: Shacharit and Yizkor (9:30am) 
Oct 10: Mincha (6:00pm) 
Oct 11: Shacharit (9:30am) 

Communal sukkot: Please sign up for a slot here for use over Chol HaMoed. 

Sukkah Logistics - Please Read!
- We will have two sukkot with two tables each
- You may sign up for 1-hour slots for meals
- Cleaning materials will be available. We ask that you clean up after your meal and take out your own trash. We want to keep our lot clean and safe!
- Please adhere to social distancing and masking protocols (when not eating)

Women's Megillah Reading: We are recruiting leiners and a Gabbait for an outdoor women's Simchat Torah reading on Sunday, October 11. Please reach out to Elli Fox if you are interested in participating at 

Shemini Atzeret Picnic: Outdoors on October 10 after davening, details TBA. BYO food and blankets.